THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said Friday, November 10, that all of the roads and bridges in the main battle area in Marawi City have been 100 percent cleared.
Colonel Edgard Arevalo, chief of the AFP Public Affairs Office, said all unexploded ordnance and improvised explosive devices that may have been left behind by the Maute terrorists have been removed.
This would facilitate the recovery, reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts in the war-torn city.
Arevalo said over 500 military engineers have been sent to Marawi to help in the reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts led by Task Force Bangon Marawi.
He said the Joint Engineer Task Group (JETG) has completed the ground preparation in portions of the temporary resettlement area in Sagon-songan. Clearing operations in the main battle area are ongoing.
“Aside from engineer manpower, we have utilized our construction vehicles and equipment to clear off rubbles and debris as well as in the demolition of buildings in the city’s MBA. We have yet to identify possible dump sites locations for the unexploded ordnance and IEDs,” Arevalo said.
Among the vehicles being used for the ground development operations are bulldozers, payloaders, backhoe loaders, skid steers, road graders and excavators which were pre-positioned near the area even before the termination of the combat operations on October 23.
Arevalo also said the JETG will ensure the restoration of water and electricity in the temporary houses, selected government centers and places of worship which will be constructed for the affected population.
The battle in Marawi City started on May 23, when government forces failed to arrest former Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon, who was allegedly the point man of global terror group Islamic State in Southeast Asia.
Hapilon's men, aided by the Maute group, went on a rampage, torching buildings and taking hostages, across Marawi.
President Rodrigo Duterte declared Marawi liberated from the terrorists on October 17. Less than a week later and exactly five months after fighting broke out, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana announced the end of the war. (SunStar Philippines)